GOP House members plead for action on immigration - KCTV5

GOP House members plead for action on immigration

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Tens of thousands of migrant children have come across the southern border from Central America since October fleeing violence and poverty. (Source: CNN) Tens of thousands of migrant children have come across the southern border from Central America since October fleeing violence and poverty. (Source: CNN)

WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) - One after another U.S. House lawmakers publicly pleaded with their colleagues on Thursday.

"I firmly believe this chamber must act. Doing nothing is not an option,” said Rep. Kay Granger, R-TX.

Republicans warning fellow Republicans not to leave for a five-week break without acting to alleviate the crisis at the southern border - tens of thousands of children pouring in illegally.

"It would be reckless and irresponsible for the House to walk out of here today without addressing this border and humanitarian crisis,” said Rep. Charlie Dent, R-PA.

"I have never seen a crisis quite like this one. This crisis demands action and leadership,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-TX.

But in a dramatic move GOP leaders suddenly cancelled the vote because it was doomed to fail.

Most Democrats opposed the scaled back $659 million measure because it included immigration policy changes they don’t like.

"I must rise in opposition against this irresponsible and insufficient border supplemental,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT.

But the real problem for GOP leaders was a familiar one - conservatives in their own ranks.

"It's a bad bill. And it could have been so much better,” said Rep. Steve King, R-IA.

King and others vowed to vote no unless the bill made it harder for illegal immigrants to stay now, and in the future.

"They weren't going to be able to get the votes to pass the bill,” King said.

So House GOP leaders gave up - announced no more votes, and lawmakers in both parties ran for the exits to go home for five weeks.

But not so fast. On the House floor Republican leaders faced a revolt from members who worried about the political backlash for not at least trying to do something to address the border crisis

“You've got an out of control crisis on the border. Even for the children it’s not fair to leave. I hope some people grow up,” said Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-AL.

So leaders abruptly called House members back to the Capitol. Many on their way to the airport had to quickly turn around.

House Republicans decided to spend the night trying one more time to make changes that will turn enough conservative 'no' votes into 'yes' votes for a bill to pass.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

 

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